In 1967–68, Serra made Verblist, an inventory of actions that could be employed in making sculpture—"to roll," "to crease," and "to fold," for example—upon which he based a number of later works. Cutting Device: Base Plate Measure is based on the action "to cut" and is a visual record of its meaning. Serra collected a variety of materials—rolled lead sheets, wood beams, marble slabs, and steel piping—and then used a saw to make two slices through the assembled objects. The sculpture is made up of the severed objects, arranged as they appeared directly after having been cut.
Gallery label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017.